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How do cord blood banks differ?
All cord blood and cord tissue banks aren’t the same, and understanding their differences can help you choose the best bank for your family’s needs and plan for a healthier tomorrow. Swipe through this slideshow to learn everything you need to know about cord blood banks.
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Public or private?
Public banks collect donated cord blood (not cord tissue yet!) for research or for use by anyone who needs it, which is an important public service. However, families who donate their child’s cord blood aren’t guaranteed access to their stem cells, and if you end up needing stem cells, you’d have to pay to access the public registry and also find a genetic match.
Private cord banks, like ViaCord, store your baby’s cord blood stem cells exclusively for your family. If a medical need arises, you’ll have immediate access to those cord blood stem cells. This is important because there’s an increased chance of finding a successful genetic match within your own family. Also, some ongoing clinical trials may require a patient to use their own cord blood stem cells. For example, clinical trials are currently using a child’s own cord blood for conditions such as autism and cerebral palsy.
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Accredited or not?
Not every cord blood bank has the same accreditation. Accreditation means the bank is required to adhere to strict quality standards set forth by reputable institutions. For a cord blood bank, accreditation by the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) is important. AABB is the global leader when it comes to setting quality standards for processing to storage and beyond.
Our partner ViaCord’s lab is AABB accredited for cord blood and also for cord tissue! ViaCord’s lab is actually one of the few family banks to receive both accreditations, meeting the requirements for both cord blood and cord tissue processing.
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How do they process stem cells?
Cord blood and cord tissue are packed with stem cells. Each bank has their own processing method to get the stem cells out of collected cord blood and tissue. Understanding the difference between these methods is pretty important. That’s why you want to make sure that the bank you choose strives to extract the greatest number and highest quality stem cells possible from your cord blood and tissue collection. For cord blood, you want a bank that follows the FDA recommended red cell depletion process – like our partner ViaCord does.
When it comes to cord tissue, make sure the bank you choose extracts the cord tissue stem cells prior to storing them so they’ll be ready to go if you need them. Some banks only store chopped up segments of the cord, which means if you ever needed them, the segments would have to be thawed first and then the cells extracted.
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How are the stem cells stored?
When it comes to storage, just like processing, banks have their own methods. It’s important to understand how your baby’s stem cells will be stored because you’re preparing for the possibility that someday the cells will be needed. A common way to store cord blood is in a two-compartment bag – known as the 80/20 bag. This means that 80% of your cord blood is stored in one section and 20% in the other section, giving you a few options when it comes to use: use the 20%, use the 80%, or use 100%.
Our partner ViaCord stores cord blood and cord tissue in a five-compartment bag, giving families more options and greater flexibility when it comes to using your cells. Physicians can use the cells from a single compartment (20%) or up to all five compartments (100%) depending on the medical need. A multi-compartment bag is the latest innovation in banking newborn stem cells.
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Other things that make banks different from one another?
Cord blood banks have been around for about 25 years. It started with a couple of banks, and now there are several to choose from. When doing research, it can become confusing. Here are a couple of things to remember:
- Choose a bank with a long history in the industry.
- Choose a bank with a lot of experience banking cord blood.
- Choose a bank where families have used their cord blood in a treatment.
- Choose a bank that is financial stable/backed by a parent company.
Our partner ViaCord was established in 1993, has the cord blood of over 350,000 newborns banked at their lab, and over 400 families have used their banked cord blood in a transplant or research. ViaCord’s parent company PerkinElmer, a global human health company, has been around for 80 years and has more than 9,000 employees.
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$500 cord blood banking with ViaCord
For many families, banking their baby’s cord blood has made a world of difference. ViaCord wants every Ovia family to have that same opportunity, in case it’s ever needed. Tap the button below to get a free info kit and learn more about the scientific advances that are happening using cord blood.